Traditions with a Twist!

Let's make the game even more enjoyable!

With time, as new trends in lifestyle come up; likewise, perhaps, new styles of kicking and hitting each other also take shape. La Tomatina occasion in Spain and the stone-pelting festival in India present a striking and stunning example in this regard.

La Tomatina refers to the tomato fight, which is held in Spain every year in the Valencian town of Bunyol, located in the East of Spain. The participants hurl tomatoes at each other for around an hour or two, simply for the sake of fun and entertainment. The view of the town after this fight resembles a pool of tomato puree, with the participants submerged in it. Thereafter comes the turn of the fire trucks, which hose down the streets using plenty of water to clean the town. The participants, on the other hand, make use of the hoses provided by the locals, to remove the tomato pulp sticking to their bodies. In 2015, it is said that around 1,45,000 kg of tomatoes were thrown by the participants! Otherwise also, on an average, from seven trucks, 175 tonnes of ripe tomatoes are offloaded into the crowd thronging the streets to participate in nearly an hour- long battle.

What more? Well, there are some rules to be followed to 'fight' with each other, as defined by the Bunyol Town Council for the safety of the participants. The limits of the fight have to be maintained, with only throwing of tomatoes; and not going wild by tearing t-shirts or using bottles, etc. to hit each other i.e. except tomatoes, no other projectiles should be used. Moreover, the moment the second banger or shot is heard, which is indicative of the closure of the game, everyone should instantly stop throwing tomatoes.

...Despite being labelled as a chaotic event, yet it finds its place in Spain's summer festival calendar, pulling people from far-off places.

As a matter of fact, even the 'estimated' genesis of this tradition is supposed to lie in the aggressive reaction of young adults, who wanted to be in the event during a parade of gigantes y cabezudos in 1945. However, on not being allowed, they became furious and expressed their anger by picking up tomatoes from a vegetable stand nearby and used them as weapons. Subsequently, the police had to intervene to control the situation. However, strangely, the following year, the young ones, out of fun, brought tomatoes from their home and started throwing them at each other. Although this time too, the police entered the scene. However, the pattern being repeated year after year soon got converted into a customary practice, with La Tomatina becoming an official festivity....

Just think over...

With so much of violence already percolating in the fabric of society, don’t you think there is enough of aggression? Why seek enjoyment by allowing this tendency to further sediment in our beings? ...

So what should be the twist in the above tradition and other traditions too...

To know this and furthermore read the complete article in the Dec'16 edition of English Akhand Gyan Monthly Magazine.

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